For me this is the 1988 season, the 25th anniversary. Sylvester McCoy was more comedic than brooding, Ace was fearless, it had Daleks and Cybermen. I loved Remembrance of the Daleks. Ben Aaronovitch was only just slightly older than me and he made me believe for a short time that someone my age could write Doctor Who stories. And then they cancelled it the next year. Of course, Aaronovitch also wrote Battlefield, which gave us the excellent Winifred Bambera, but more of that later.
The show had a decent budget for its silver anniversary. Lots of pyromania in both Remembrance and Silver Nemesis. The Happiness Patrol had the Kandyman – an robotic executioner that looked like a jar of liquorice allsorts stuck together, but the real villain was Helen A, malevolently and brilliantly played by Sheila Hancock. After nine years of Thatcherism, many people saw a certain shared quality between the PM and Helen…
The dark goings on at the circus in the Greatest Show in the Galaxy concluded the season.
I loved it. It was the first series I’d been able to watch for a long time, I’d just turned 21 and got married, all was good in the world and I thought Sylvester and Sophie were such a marvellous partnership.
So, explosives and laughter, interesting enemies, old and new. What more could you ask for?